Starting with the Windows 10 Creators Update, OneNote’s popular screenshot feature has been made an Operating System feature — you can capture a specific region of your screen to the clipboard using the Win + Shift + S shortcut key.
Screenshot a Portion of the Screen
Press Winkey + Shift + S. The screen will be covered with an overlay and mouse cursor turns into a plus (+) symbol, which indicate that the capture mode is on.
Since Windows 10 v1809, you’ll see the following bar at the top. From there, choose one of the snipping modes: Rectangular snip, Freeform snip, or Fullscreen snip.
Choose Rectangular, Freeform, Window snip, or a Full-screen snip. This copies the particular portion, window, or the full screen to the clipboard. It also saves the file (in recent Windows 10 builds such as 2004/20H2 and higher) to a temporary folder.
Open Paint or any other image editor of your choice and paste (Ctrl + V) the image from the clipboard.
Note that this feature replaces the one in OneNote 2016.
Winkey + Shift + S is powered by Snip & Sketch in v1809 & higher
In Windows 10 v1809 and higher, the Winkey + Shift + S is powered by the new Snip & Sketch feature. You’re shown the 3 snipping options when you use the keystroke. Snip & Sketch is the new tool that will replace the legacy Snipping Tool in future Windows 10 builds.
Winkey + Shift + S uses the Snipping Tool in Creators Update
In Windows 10 Creators Update, the Winkey + Shift + S runs the Snipping Tool (in non-interactive mode) under the hood, using a new command-line switch. The following is what’s executed behind the scenes when you use the Winkey + Shift + S keystroke in the Creators Update.
As said earlier, this has changed in v1809 where the keystroke is powered by Snip & Sketch. For more information, see Using the built-in Snip & Sketch app in the article A Complete Guide to Taking Screenshots in Windows 10
Windows auto-saves the screenshot of a selected screen area to a PNG file when you use Winkey + Shift + S. A background process named
ScreenClippingHost.exe saves the image (PNG file) in the following folder:
Tip: Reverse-sort the folder by the “Date” column to locate the latest screenshot. Also, you can create a shortcut of the ScreenClip folder on your desktop, or pin it to Quick access in File Explorer if you like.
Every time you press Winkey + Shift + S and select a screen area or window, Windows saves the screenshot to two PNG files in addition to saving the image on the Windows clipboard. One PNG file is a resized (lower resolution) screenshot, and the other one is a normal resolution.
Additionally, a .JSON file is saved which stores the coordinates of the rectangular area you selected on the screen. The JSON file is a plain-text file that contains a line similar to the following:
For Freeform snip, the JSON file would contain multiple lines. The .JSON file has no significant value for the user.
Additional Tip: To take a screenshot of the entire screen and save it to a PNG file in your
Pictures\Screenshots folder, use the WinKey + PrntScrn keys.
Launch Screen snip by pressing PrintScreen
If you think the three keys combo Winkey + Shift + S is tough to operate, you can choose to have your PrtScn key open the new snipping bar, instead of Winkey + Shift + S. To do so:
- Click Start → Settings → Ease of Access → Keyboard → Use the PrtScn button to open screen snipping
If the above setting is enabled, your third-party screen capture tool, if installed any, may complain that it’s unable to register hotkey – PrintScreen. That’s normal, as only one application can register the hotkey at a time.
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About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.